As a preface, I’m sorry for not updating in a while. I’ll finish Watamote soon. In the meantime, however, here is a series that has intrigued me since the opening scene. It is just so incredibly interesting and enjoyable that it needs to be seen by people. And it was the debut (as a director) of Sayo Yamamoto, who also directed last year’s Lupin The Third: The Lady Called Fujiko Mine, which I still haven’t seen (like all Lupin series). The reaction to that series is what drove me here and I cannot say that I’m disappointed or, really, any other negative feeling. For me, this is pure joy.
Hana is a girl living with the family of a priest in Brazil, since her parents are dead. If her situation in episode 1 reminds you of anything, you win the prize for realizing OBVIOUS PARELLELS (she’s Cinderella). When her life just seems to be getting worse (at the age of nine, no less), a violent criminal named Michiko crashes in through the window on a motorcycle and takes Hana away. And then there’s a bitchy cop chasing after Michiko, and a great car chase, and the priest tries to shoot Hana, and then there’s a crazed fortune-teller, and then there is a gang of almost all kids, and a stripper thief, and, and, and………………..
Yeah, this seems like the series made specifically for me. For the record, this is not an adaptation of anything. Also, while Sayo Yamamoto created the series, she was given complete creative freedom. In short, this is the complete creation of it’s creator (a rare feat for television anime). The closest thing this series has to an outside influence is the music producer, who seems to have been an inspiration for Ms. Yamamoto and is one of anime’s greatest minds: Shinchiro Watanabe (yes, the creator of Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo). His influence of her shows, since this, like Bebop and Champloo, very much resembles the films of Quentin Tarantino (in all of the good ways): a lack of care regarding the logic of the real world, the love of the criminal world, violence, kick-ass women, and a sense of intelligence that is very much rooted in the trash culture he worships. In these first four episodes, the tone is set right up front: this is Samurai Champloo, what with the rescue of a young girl, an ambiguous quest, episodic encounters, and an overall sense of style over substance. This set does loud very well, but it also does pull off the quiet moments well, probably because of the voice cast (in Japanese, Funimation’s dub is very strange to me but not bad). I hope that the quiet moments make as much of an impact as the loud moments, though, since this series seems like it also wants to be Bebop, which means that it needs to balance it tone perfectly and still be, like these first four episodes, …………………………………. FUCKING AWESOME!!!!